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Seven flu myths
Last updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Many misconceptions about the flu virus and vaccine persist, despite the widespread impact of the disease and the benefit of vaccine.

Myth: Flu is no more than a nuisance, much like common cold that cannot be prevented.
Fact: Flu is a severe and sometimes life-threatening disease that causes 250,000-500,000 deaths worldwide annually. You can avoid getting it by going for a flu shot every year.

Myth: You can get flu from the injectable vaccination.
Fact: The injectable vaccine doesn't contain any live virus, so it's impossible to get flu from the vaccine. Minor side effects may occur in some people such as mild soreness, redness, swelling at the injection site, headache or a low-grade fever. Most of the side effects are due to the body’s immune response to the vaccine. In fact, these side effects are an indication that the vaccine is working. Vaccination is the best way to prevent flu and its complications.

Myth: It's not necessary to be immunised against flu every year because protection is carried over from previous vaccinations.
Fact: The flu virus strains circulating in the community change from year to year. Because of this, a new vaccine is made each year to protect against current strains. Vaccination is especially important if you haven't had pandemic H1N1 (swine flu) yet.

Myth: Only the elderly are at risk for developing serious complications from the flu virus.
Fact: Influenza impacts people of all ages. Young children are at higher risk of severe infections than older children and adults, and pandemic H1N1 typically causes more severe disease in pregnant patients during any stage of pregnancy.

Myth: If I missed the chance to get an influenza vaccination before the winter season, I have to wait for next year.
Fact: ... Read more


 

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